De-TERM-ination

Sub, grinder, hero, hoagie, Italian sandwich, po’ boy, wedge, zep, Hodgson, torpedo: there can be a lot of terms used for essentially the same item. For sandwiches, these terms can be regional, cultural, or generational.

When it comes to business, terminology is often more heavily effected by:

  • Corporate culture
  • Industry standardization
  • Functional inertia

With the DATArrive Engine we’ve considered this need and built a terminology system into the web application that allows organizations to define their own terms for common business objects. We think this is a great feature and allows us the flexibility to support many more types of work flows then otherwise. However, it does present an issue with marketing. For example, our branding and marketing material might describe a way to associate “customers” with “projects”, but a potential client might be turned off because he was looking for a solution that would allow him to link “accounts” to “work orders” even though – at a basic level – these are the same needs.

I wanted to take this space to document some of the more important business objects in the DATArrive Engine and some of the common terms associated with them.

Divisions
A group within an organization. This can be functional, geographical, or organizational. Divisions are often assigned to employees, crews, projects, or equipment. Common alternative terms include:

  • Working Group
  • Region
  • Department

Employees
A person employed by an organization. This can be an internal employee or an employee of an external agency. Employee Types can be defined to assist in this type of division. Employees also can have roles, job titles, and contact information. Common alternative terms include:

  • Agents
  • Persons
  • Workers

Projects
A categorization for the organization or association of work, often for accounting or invoicing purposes. Projects Types can be defined to assist in grouping data. Projects can also be hierarchical with child project and parent projects. Common alternative terms include:

  • Work Orders
  • Jobs
  • Accounts

Tasks
A description of some work, most often in terms of “what” is done. Typically this is used specifically for accounting, invoicing, or payroll. Tasks are hierarchical with child tasks and parent tasks. Common alternative terms include:

  • Cost codes
  • GL Accounts
  • Account codes
  • Work types

Crews
A grouping of employees. This is different from a division which is usually a larger grouping that can often include projects and equipments as well as employees a crew is usually a specific grouping of employees who will work together for a period of time or for a specific task or project. Common alternative terms include:

  • Departments
  • Groups
  • Casts

Customer
An external organization or reporting group. Customers can have associated locations and employees and are themselves associated with projects. Common alternative terms include:

  • Clients
  • Accounts
  • Reporting Groups

Location
A specific, stationary place. Examples include a geographic region, a building, a room, or a shelf space. Locations are commonly used for delivery, inspection, or security uses. Common alternative terms include:

  • Region
  • Zone
  • Area
  • Place

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